The reason stated not to include cycling facilities was that a short way beyond the roundabout, cyclists would have to join the road again. This is inevitable, of course, in the current situation because you can't do everything at once. However, it's not a reason why the right thing shouldn't be done at the junction which is being redeveloped.
My correspondent asked for examples. Between the explanation in this blog post and my next blog post also written for this planner (showing all the roundabouts in Assen), it should be possible to gain a reasonable idea of how Dutch roundabouts work, though obviously not as good an impression as would be gained from coming here to take a look.
In reality, the difference in experience for a cyclist using a Dutch roundabout and a British roundabout is not just the geometry. Specific cycling infrastructure is an integral part of roundabout design and that is what makes cycling so much safer and more pleasant on Dutch roundabouts. It's really not the same at all to take the geometry of Dutch roundabouts without also including the cycle facilities which go with them.
Even where there are no cycle-paths on adjoining roads, there is still an advantage to having them around a roundabout. There is a big safety advantage as well as a potential improvement in convenience to well designed junctions, including around roundabouts.
I've not found a roundabout locally with no cycle facilities at all. However, this one in a village a few kilometres North of the city provides a good example of how to link a road without cycle-path to a roundabout with cycle-path, preserving safety on the arm of the roundabout which doesn't have a cycle-path.
Some may quibble at having to give way at the crossing of the other roads joining the roundabout itself. However, consider that if I didn't give way where I do in the video, I'd otherwise have done so to the same car on the roundabout itself. In practice, most usage of this junction by cyclists is on the main West-East cycle-path which we join very briefly on our way around the roundabout. Because the road to the South serves only a dead end road with one business and a farm on it, there is rarely anything to give way to. The only way to have to give way twice is to ride around the roundabout in order to make a video.
The industrial area just North of the roundabout does not have segregated cycle paths, but just cycle lanes on the road. In the Netherlands, this is quite unusual. There are 29000 km of cycle-path separated from the road, but just 5500 km of on-road cycle lane. However in a location like this, with a 30 km/h speed limit on a road which mainly serves adult cyclists, this is adequate provision.
a comprehensive network of good quality cycling infrastructure and the UK does not comes down to two things: They made a good start, and they've continued with the effort to make things better.
What exists here now wasn't all built at once. Rather, isolated islands of infrastructure were built and eventually they came to be joined up to make the current network.
The best approach in Britain to be to insist on building examples of the best possible infrastructure rather than taking the approach that it's not worth doing something because it isn't already done elsewhere. It is inevitable that in the UK at the moment good examples will be isolated islands. The important thing is to make sure that those isolated islands are of good quality. Good things sell themselves. Once something has been shown to work well, as Dutch roundabout design including cycle paths certainly do, then it is easier to make a case for more of the same elsewhere.
Update November 2014
I deliberately did not name "the planner" who inspired this blog post more than three years ago because my communication with him had been anonymous. Our correspondence was entirely online and unfortunately was rather repetitive because he was struggling with the concepts of Dutch roundabout design. Many emails were sent, many examples given and I made the suggestion that he should come and take a look at real Dutch infrastructure before going ahead with building the flawed design which he was proposing.
Three years passed. That's more than enough time to have thought through and improved the original design. More than enough time to have come to find out how the Dutch really design roundabouts. Unfortunately, neither of these things happened. The same planner has recently designed and got built a roundabout for Perne Road in Cambridge which is almost exactly as he'd suggested he would build in Bedfordshire three years ago. It took just a few days for this dangerous design to cause injuries.
"The planner" actually boasting about his design online, so I see no reason why I should not now name him as Alasdair Massie. This blog post and the the following one showing how all the roundabouts in Assen have cycling infrastructure, were both written as part of my attempt to provide Alasdair with a free education about how Dutch roundabouts are really designed. I wanted to help him not to make the mistake that he has made, to try to avoid people being hurt by a bad design. Unfortunately, some people simply won't listen to advice.
More recently I have described how the safest Dutch roundabouts are designed. This is the blueprint for how roundabouts in other countries should be designed.
We are still available to show planners from the UK, or other countries, what true best practice looks like.
Please also read about other real Dutch roundabout designs
We offer Study Tours in the Netherlands in order to provide a service to campaigners, planners and other parties with an interest in how the Netherlands has achieved its extraordinary modal share and safety figures for cycling. Uniquely, we've experience of both the UK and the Netherlands and know how the two countries compare from a cyclists point of view. We offer a time-saving way of finding out what the important differences are, rather than having people making guesses from the other side of the North Sea. Thus far, no-one responsible for designing cycle provision in the UK has come on any of our tours.